Public records dispute can be seen on one NewsOK page
The Oklahoman is sitting in the middle of a controversy.
It’s been there for weeks — actually, months.availability of public records, something journalists generally feel strongly about. They (or at least the ones in our newsroom) are passionate about the issue for one reason: They honestly believe in doing good journalistic work that serves the public at large.
We’ve covered the issue between the Oklahoma Public Employees Association and The Oklahoman pretty extensively.
The disagreement centers around the availability of birth dates of state employees. And it’s not simply an issue in Oklahoma; this debate about open records for American citizens is happening across the country.
Last week, NewsOK.com editors put together a page that provides the history of this specific issue, dating back to last August. You can read all the past stories, and even see the latest coverage from this weekend, including The Oklahoman editor Ed Kelley’s piece on why the issue is significant and the investigation about the state of Oklahoma selling the same personal data that is being currently debated.
Kelley’s final paragraph effectively summarizes the opinion of the editor:
We at The Oklahoman take very seriously the traditional watchdog role of the press in modern American life. At the heart of that role is journalistic oversight of government, particularly at the local and state level. Open records — of which dates of birth are a key component — and open meetings laws allow us to do our job on behalf of our readers and online audiences. We believe you’ve come to expect that from us through the years, and we intend to continue to meet your expectations in the future.
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